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Zimbabwe: teachers attacked in rural schools

 Political violence hit a rural district of Zimbabwe this week, as gangs of youths began began beating up teachers accused of supporting parties opposed to the government. Fifteen schools, including several run by the Catholic church, in the Zaka province, have lost teachers as suspected Zanu PF youths unleashed a reign of terror, attacking staff, ahead of rural district council elections scheduled for September. The Daily News yesterday quoted Obert Mujuru, the Masvingo regional director of education who confirmed the incidents on Tuesday, saying he was worried about the escalating harassment of teachers in the province. Mujuru said: "Parents and teachers should know that education is above politics. Students should be allowed to learn and one has no right to harass civil servants for political reasons." Police in Zaka on Tuesday said they had received reports of harassment of teachers in the district and were still investigating them. About 20 teachers in the district have fled their schools and sought refuge in urban areas. A police officer in Zaka said they were "investigating 15 cases of harassment of teachers but so far, no one had been arrested". The schools include St Joseph, St Antony's, Tongoona, Munjanja, Mutonhori, Muchechetere, Mapanje, Chinorumba, Mutamba, Gunguwo, Madondo, Manjeru, Museki and Nhema. Some teachers have had their salary payments stopped while others have been summoned to Zanu PF offices at Jerera to explain alleged MDC ties. source: ZW News